Happening (L’Evenement): Audrey Diwan, Only Sixth Woman to Win Golden Lion Award

Audrey Diwan’s L’Evenement (Happening) has won the Golden Lion at the 78th Venice International Film Fest.

The Silver Lion went to Paolo Sorrentino’s “The Hand of God.”

 

Audrey Diwan holds the Golden Lion award for 'Happening' onstage at the closing ceremony during the 78th edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)© Audrey Diwan holds the Golden Lion award for ‘Happening’ onstage at the closing ceremony during the 78th Venice Fest, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)

Diwan’s film about a French college student who finds herself with an unwanted pregnancy on a search for an abortion was the unanimous choice from the prestigious jury that included recent Oscar winners Bong Joon Ho (Parasite) and Chloé Zhao (Nomadland).

Tough Competition

The competition this year was strong, including Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog,” Pedro Almodóvar’s “Parallel Mothers,” Maggie Gyllenhaal’s “The Lost Daughter” and “The Hand of God.”

Twenty-one films were vying for the prize, which has become a promising early indicator of a film’s Oscars prospects, especially for English-speaking films.

 

Director of the Venice film festival Alberto Barbera, from left, Jury members Cynthia Erivo, Alexander Nanau, Bong Joon Ho, JVirginie Efira, Chloe Zhao, Sarah Gadon and Saverio Costanzo pose for photographers upon arrival at the closing ceremony of the 78th edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP): Italy Venice Film Festival 2021 Closing Ceremony Red Carpet© Provided by Associated Press Italy Venice Film Festival 2021 Closing Ceremony Red Carpet

“I did this movie with anger. I did the movie with desire also. I did it with my belly, my guts, my heart, my head,” Diwan said Saturday. “I wanted “Happening” to be an experience.”

Audrey Diwan holds the Golden Lion award for 'Happening' onstage at the closing ceremony during the 78th edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)© Provided by Associated Press Audrey Diwan holds the Golden Lion award for ‘Happening’ onstage at the closing ceremony during the 78th edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)

Six Women Winners

Diwan is the sixth woman to have directed a Golden Lion winning film.

Others include Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”), Margarethe Von Trotta (“Marianne & Juliane”), Agnès Varda (“Vagabond”), Mira Nair (“Monsoon Wedding) and Sofia Coppola (“Somewhere”).

Audrey Diwan (born 1980) is a French filmmaker of Lebanese origins. Prior to becoming a fdirector she worked as a journalist and a screenwriter. She is a member of Collectif 50/50, a French NGO promoting equality between men and women in the film industry.

Her directorial debut film Losing It premiered in 2019. Happening is her second film.